By A Thread: Trang T. Lê’s Painting as Meditation
The artist’s abstract compositions often feature meticulously rendered marks, such as carefully crafted “threads” and delicately painted
In her latest exhibition “Threads II” featured in Santa Monica’s Ruth Bachofner Gallery, the California-based artist continues her exploration of “thread,” in works that display fluid lines in vibrant color. Each piece evidences the artist’s single-minded attention to the repetition of the form of the line. In her poetic statement about the series, Lê explains, “My life is brilliant, my love is pure and true/ Holding my paint brush, I will never stop painting/ All I have got is this thread I hold on.”
To create these pieces, Lê carefully guides her brush across the canvas to make a continuous line that weaves through the composition. In works like Intensity (2014), the technique calls to mind the infinite intricacies of wood grain. Others, like Graziella’s Thread (2014), combine areas of dense tangles with thin strands of color that recall the strings of a marionette. Within the seemingly straightforward framework of this repeated gesture, Lê is able to find a remarkable variety of expressions—and, along with it, catharsis.